Today's Featured Tutorial!

Wednesday, September 26, 2012

Today's Featured Tutorial -- Sunbonnet Sue Magnets

I like Sunbonnet Sues and I make them into magnets or you can add a loop and hang them in a window or wherever you like. They could be used as Christmas ornaments.

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There are only 7 pieces
2 Hat pieces
2 Dress pieces
2 Boot pieces
1 Pocket piece

You can match or contrast the thread.

The pattern pieces I hope will come out the right size but if not you can resize them on a copy machine to the size you want.


                                              Here are the pieces cut out

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                                    Next we are going to make the pocket
Fold over the edge of the pocket and iron it so it will stay down

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Baste a thread along the top of the pocket and when you get to the corner fold the corner in

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                               Run a stitch through the corner
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When you get to the other corner fold it in like you did the first one. Then fold the side over and baste upto the corner. Make sure you put a stitch in the corner.

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fold the rest of the side over and continue basting around the rest of the pocket
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Here is the pocket with basting thread
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Sew the pocket on under your sewing machine needle or by hand and then rip out the basting thread. I used red here so you could see it.

TIP: if you use the same color thread as the thread you are going to use to sew it on - if you miss picking anything out it is less noticable. The basting thread sometimes will hide and you can't see it.
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Pocket all done!
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Put the two pieces together and sew around the edge. Leave an inch on top so you can turn it easily and leave an opening in the bottom for the boot to go through.
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Turn it right side out and use a turning tool ( I use the tip of my mini scissors) to push out the shape of the dress . I also fold in the neck area so it fits up into the hat easily. Iron it flat.
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This is the size boot I prefer but you can use the larger template or a square to rep a boot. Start sewing down a bit from the top edge so you can turn it easier.
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I start to turn by bunching up the fabric on the tip of my scissors.
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I push the scissors with the bunched up fabric up into the center as I pull down on the edges of the top
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Continue to use the scissors tip or turning tool to work the boot out.
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Push out the toe and straighten the edges inside
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You can enlarge the boot pattern if you like for a larger boot if that is a bit easier to handle. Just add a seam allowance and make sure if you do enlarge it that you keep the same angle of the top.
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If you use white thread it will show and look like laces.
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Here is the boot
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You can see the top how it gets a bit frayed but that is ok as it will be hidden inside the dress
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Now you can slip the boot up into the opening at the bottom of the dress.
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Sew across the boot inside the dress to anchor it in place
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 Ok now you need to sew the hat on and finish the Sue.

I prefer to buy the magnets for business cards as they are flat. The only other magnets I found were in a roll and they don't work as well. I had a hard time getting the roll kind to not want to roll up.

So cut a piece of magnet about 2 1/2" x 3/4" wide or whatever size you like. I like to place it so it is evenly between the top and bottom of the Sue.

Sew around the hat. Keep closer to the pointed ends when you start so you leave a good opening to place it down on the dress and be able to get a good angle on the hat.
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Here is the hat with the opening folded inside
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Put the neck of the dress through the opening of the hat. Then sew around the hat and also sew a finish seam around the dress. Now you have a completed Sunbonnet Sue.
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Today's Featured Tutorial -- Tips to Keeping Your Points

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  1. I use a lot of HST's in my work and have for over 10 years nearly every day. So here are a few of the things I have learned.

    It doesn't matter what method you use to make the HST's however I think my cut down method is the most accurate.

    Cut down method and HST's
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             I do mostly scrappy so we cut swatches and sew them together and cut out a square from the center. If I am making a lot of the same color HSTs I cut strips and sew two strips together. Open and iron the seam flat. Turn over center your template on point on the seam and cut out with your rotary. Make sure your template does not move as you cut. I use a mini mat and hold the template with the fingers on my left and swivel the mat between cuts with my right.

    You can continue to cut them out til you get to the end of the strip and then pull the strips apart and sew the other two sides together and continue to cut. Any leftovers we recycle into more blocks or smaller blocks.
    Ok now for the prevention list. These are things to watch and be aware of so you won't lose your points!! Accuracy and attention to detail will help keep those points from disappearing!

    1. Make sure your HST is truly square. If it is not gently trim it to square or as close as you can without losing the integrity of the HST
    2. Make sure the seam is exactly in the middle of both fabrics on the corners.
    This is one of the main reasons you will lose your points. If it is not exactly even on both sides of the seam then you need to gently trim to get it even.


    4. When you join two HSTs you need to look at the seams and match them as closely as you can. I like to tack them so they won't move. Pins still will allow things to slide a bit more than I like.
    5, Iron everything at every step. How can you get a good clean connection between blocks if the fabric is not crisply flat? If it is wrinkled at all it will affect the position of your pieces. If it is flat then you can better see what your are working on.
    6. Check the accuracy at every step. (example)- Take a look at the 4 patch you just joined together. Does it look like a square or a rectangle or even a triangle? Now is the time to fix anything that is not square. Don't get so caught up in the steps that you don't look to see if the quality of what you are doing is ok or not.

    Strategies to fix problem areas

    1. Sew along the seam to fix any uneven seams(tightening a seam)
    I chain sew and I join two's together. then I lay them on the table and look at each one and I pull any to the side that look like they are not straight lines.
    If they are bowed in the middle then I start at the middle of the seam and sew along the seam and sew a little more to the left or the right depending on which side needs to be tighter or looser so the two will lay together in a straight line. (pictures below) 2. You can stretch cotton to some extent to make it fit.

    3. If you find you have a HST that the point is too close to the edge
    You can sew a seam along the first seam and the deeper seam will
    allow for a 1/4" seam allowance.
    4. If you have an HST that the point is too close to the edge and you
    really don't want to mess with fixing it you can use a scant 1/4" or
    a 1/8" seam to use as little of the fabric between the point and the
    edge as possible and still have a solid seam.

                                               Square HST where the fabric is even on the corners
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    The fabric is the same on each side of the seam.
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    The corner has one side of fabric bigger than the other side. This corner needs to be trimmed so the fabric on both sides of the seam are the same.
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  2. Here is my cut down method with strips
                       Middle picture is first step -Top pic is second -and last pic is last step
    Rhonda is online now
  3.                                                           When you join two blocks
    Tack the corners so they can't move
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    Sew again along seam to tighten the seam
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                                             Check to make sure they are sewn together straight
  4.                                   When you have points too close to the edge
                                       These have loaded backwards so start at the bottom.

           Go back and tighten the seam to a 1/4"
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    Seam is not 1/4" I sewed a 1/4" so you could see where it would go
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    Now you should have a point that won't disappear. Here again you can see where the 1/4" seam will go
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