Allow me to start off this post by sharing the wonderful news that I received yesterday. The results of the follow up CT scan that I had last week showed that “I responded very well to the treatments and that everything is free and clear”. The cancer cooties have flown the coop! Woo hoo and whew!
♥ ♥ ♥ ♥ ♥
Note: I am slowly working on transferring all the First Friday Freebie files over to Scribd which is another free hosting site for PDF files. I had been using 4Shared for over two years and just recently…in their infinite wisdom…decided to change things, making it very difficult for you to download files. So it’s “Good bye, 4Shared” and “Hello, Scribd”. In the interim, if you are still having problems downloading any of the files, just email me and I’ll be happy to send you the PDF files by email.
*Edit May 10/2012: Since I published the original version of this post on May 4th, I found out that many of you were having problems downloading the PDF file from the Scribd site. With your help and recommendation, I am now using Google Docs and trust that all our problems will have been solved.
I think it’s a well known fact that I love needle cases and pincushions. I was feeling the incredible urge to make either one or the other and this time, the needle case won out. I combined my two favorite things…needle cases and redwork embroidery…and designed this month’s FFF… Spring Floral Needle Case…Crazy Quilt Style…just for you.
Most of us who enjoy creating hand made items are visual people so I decided to turn this month’s FFF into a tutorial and show you step-by-step how the project evolved.
So let’s get started.
First, complete the redwork stitchery which will become the inside pocket of the needle case. The line drawing and instructions are included in the PDF file which you will find HERE .
Once you have completed the stitching, set it aside until later.
From your stash, select six coordinating fabrics, large enough to be able to cut a 6 1/2” square from each of them. One of the fabrics that I selected was the same that I used for the redwork stitchery.
Cut a 6 1/2” square from each of the six different fabrics. Layer all six squares of fabric one on top of the other to form a neat stack.
You will also need a template. I made mine on a piece of computer printer paper.
Below is a photo of the one I drew. It is a 6 1/2” square with a line drawn from one side to the other but not centered and on a slight angle. Then there are two lines drawn on either side of this line, once again not centered and on different angles. Where you place these lines will determine the shape of your ‘patches’. Use the photo of my template below as a guide. Trim off the outside edges so all that remains is an intact, 6 1/2” square.
The lines are your cutting lines. Starting with the center line and using your rotary cutter, cut across this line and through all layers of fabric. Repeat and cut through all of the lines in the same manner.
Randomly stagger the order of the fabrics in each pile so that they are not in the same sequence within each pile.
Each of the two sets of 3 pieces on either side of the center line are worked on separately. Starting on the left side, sew two pieces together and repeat this for all six layers. Chain piecing makes this step go quite quickly.
If you chain pieced, snip the connecting thread that is holding them together and iron the seams open.
Note: Every seam in this project is ironed open.
As is the style with crazy quilts, I elected to do a decorative feather stitch, centered on the top and in the center of each sewn seam. This is the reason why all of the seams are ironed open…to facilitate the sewing of the decorative stitch across an evenly distributed seam allowance.
Sew the third piece to the other two and iron the seam open. Add your decorative stitch to the right side of this seam.
Square off the center seam line only and repeat this exact procedure for the three pieces on the other side.
Join the two sides together and iron the seam open.
Don’t forget to add the decorative stitching on the top of the joined seam. Repeat this step to make 6 blocks in total.
Square off each block to 4 1/2”.
Make two rows with three blocks in each row. Play with the blocks until you get a sequence that you like. Try to make sure that no two of the same fabrics lined up side by side…but if it happens, who cares? It’s a crazy quilt!
Sew the three blocks together in each row…
and then sew the two rows together.
Remember to iron each seam open and to add the decorative stitching on the top of each new seam.
Cut a piece of coordinating fabric and a piece of batting at 12 1/2” x 8 1/2” The fabric that you choose in this step will be the inside lining of your needle case. Sandwich the two layers together.
From a 2 1/2” x 4 1/2” piece of scrap wool, draw a line across the center. Machine stitch this in place across the center line, locking the stitches at either end then fold it in half at the stitched line.
Fold the stitched piece in half lengthwise making sure that the top of the stitched design is about 1/4” below the fold. Then lightly draw a line in pencil directly under the stitched design. This will be your sewing line.
Using the pencil line as your guide, trim the fabric 1/4” beyond that line.
* I forgot to take a photo of this next step. Sandwich the three layers and pin to stabilize. Sew the three layers together down the two vertical seams to stabilize.
Line the bottom edge of the stitched piece with the bottom edge of the lining and batting and stitch across the penciled line. Don’t forget to center the stitchery on the lining and backing before you sewing them together.
Trim the stitched piece to the size of the lining and batting.
Add binding to the needle case as you would a quilt then embellish it to your heart’s content.
I added a little pocket on the right side…
and a pair of scissors held in place by a ribbon as well as a mother-of-pearl little heart to hold my floss. You may add whatever embellishments or doo-dads you wish to in order to make the needle case yours.
I also made a 'tie’ out of the same fabric that I used for the lining to keep my needle case closed when not in use and tacked it in place by hand.
The outside back…
and the inside with the right side folded in.
And voila…the finished needle case folded in three and tied.
I love to change my needle cases often. Perhaps this will become your
obsession passion as well!