Saturday, April 20, 2013

My first American Sewing Guild Neighborhood Group Meeting was a Success

On Saturday, April 13, 2013,  our leader Kathy Hart met with the Sew It Goes Group in North Brunswick, New Jersey.

We met at the North Brunswick Library, which is close to the intersection of Routes 130 and 1.  Since the American Sewing Guild is a non-profit, there was no charge for the room rental.  Although members knew each other from previous events, they were welcoming by including me in the conversations, and sharing supplies and home made cup cakes.

Unfolded bag may even be used for ironing if lining is made of silver, heat resistant fabric
We quickly started our project, which was a small quilt that was cleverly designed to fold around a warm full sized clothing iron.
Folded bag needs only handles/tab/buttons&pony tail elastics to keep closed

I chose not to use any closures, since I knew what my dog would want to use the project for

Here is the space that is created when the little quilt is folded into a bag

These are the supplies that you will need to create this at home

cotton fashion fabric for quilt top 22"x 28"
\batting labeled for insulation or 2 layers cotton batting, each 22"x 28"
silver heat resistant fabric developed to cover ironing boards
120" binding
walking foot for sewing machine (optional)
notions - 2 pony tail elastics, 2 large buttons, webbing for handles
marking pen/chalk, ruler, rotary cutter/shears

The most challenging part of the project is marking your silver fabric.  Here is a diagram that is not drawn to scale:

This looks like a fun house road map, but if you take it a step at a time, it is easy.

Here are the steps to draw the sewing and measuring lines on your silver fabric
  1.  draw a rectangular solid line about 6" x 12" in the center of the fabric.  You may trace around a small shoe box lid if this is convenient
  2. draw dashed lines extending each of the four lines of the rectangle to the edges of the fabric.  The dashed lines are for measuring only
  3. at the edges of the fabric, make a dot 2" on either side of the outside end of the dashed line
  4. draw solid lines connecting the dots to the corners of the rectangle.  Repeat drawing solid lines around all eight dashed lines
  5. draw solid lines from each of the four corners of the rectangle to the closest corner of the fabric

Assemble the quilt sandwich by placing the wrong side of the quilt top on your cutting table, next place the batting, and then the silver fabric with the marked side up.  Center the layers and smooth the fabrics.  You may want to use pins or fabric spray glue to prevent the layers from shifting while you are sewing, but if you are daring like me, just go to the sewing machine.

Using a long straight stitch (increase length to 2.5-3.0mm), sew the center rectangle.  I found that very busy fabric like the print I selected was very forgiving of my less than perfect quilting.  

Starting at the corners of the rectangle and finishing at the fabric's edge, sew on each solid line.  (The dashed lines were only used for measuring).

Use your ruler & rotary cutter or shears to cut a triangle about 2" tall from all four corners, and to square the edges of the quilt.  Alternatively, you may want to serge the edges of the quilt to square.  This provides the additional benefit of compressing the edges, facilitating binding.

Apply the binding around all edges.  If you are binding challenged like me, please review Ramona's excellent video  If you join the American Sewing Guild so you can enjoy all of her videos, please write that Kubisz sent you.  If enough people do this, Ramona will be our special guest educator for three days!

Fold the project along the sewn lines to create the bag shape in the second picture.  You may choose to put buttons on the front and the back, and create loops of elastics to maintain the bag shape.  I think the sturdiest way to make a handle is to purchase 1'' webbing, sew the free ends together creating a large loop, and sew this to the bottom of the bag.  This creates a sling style handle that can hold the weight of the iron.

This project took about two hours to complete, and I used only supplies I already owned.  As we were finishing, we were imaging all kinds of uses for this bag that opens flat.  It could be a lunch bag that opens into a placemat, a pet carrier,  purse, etc.

What will you make with this hot iron carrier bag pattern? 
 Please send your pictures and ideas for related projects.

Thank you Kathy, Kathy, Michele, Gwen, Dawn, and Edna!