Tuesday, January 17, 2017

Glue Basting A Zipper :: Tutorial

As promised, I have a tutorial for glue basting a zipper!!  Many of you most likely can stitch a zipper in like no one's business, and then there are people like me (tell me I'm not alone?!) who almost always have issues.      

This tutorial will show you what I do to ensure little or no slipping and sliding when installing a hidden zipper for pillows.  

Please Note:  I use the Hidden Zipper Tutorial from S.O.T.A.K Handmade.  I follow each step, with the exception of pinning the zipper in place.  

Gather your supplies: Quilted pillow top, two backing fabric pieces and your zipper of choice.

I happen to have this glue by Roxanne, but I also have Elmer's Washable Glue.  Both are perfect!  If you are using Elmer's Washable Glue, twist the cap half way open to restrict the flow. You don't need a special tip at all!

Marking the zipper with the width of the pillow back is a great idea.  That way you have a better chance of lining up the back panels.  Also make sure you center it between the zipper stops.

Squeeze a thin bead of glue from the markings to the middle of the zipper.  Lay your panel on the zipper lining it up at the mark.  


Using a hot dry iron (no steam), press and hold the iron on the fabric/zipper.  It doesn't take a long time, maybe 30 seconds.  Move the iron along the zipper until set.

Once the first half is set, I repeat the same process for the last half.  I do one half at a time so that I don't make a mess and get glue everywhere!  If I can make a mess...I will!


See!  The glue is magic!  The panel is secure to the zipper and it's nice and smooth.  The truth is gluing takes very little time.  I would almost bet it takes me longer to pin than glue! Plus, I'm not getting stuck with pins! 

The next step is stitching.  Just follow the tutorial and you can't go wrong.  Another bonus with this tutorial is you can use your regular foot!  I adjust the needle to the left or right until it's where I want it to be.  

Top stitched perfection! 

Glue baste the top panel following the tutorial and viola! no puckering, slipping, sliding or shifting!  

Lay the quilted top right sides together, pin and stitch around the edges.  I always add 1/2" to my pillow back fabric in case things don't quite line up.  However, with glue basting it has become less of an issue.  Just a friendly reminder, and it is stated in the tutorial...be sure to open your zipper before the final step!  Been there, done that!

For a more finished look and to prevent crazy fraying when washed, I zig zag around all four sides.    

That's it!  I've done my fair share of zippers over the past few years and nine times out of ten I have some issue with them.  Shifting or puckering, sliding or slipping.  Perhaps that's why I have never been comfortable installing zippers...ever!  After glue basting half a dozen now, I'm confident that this method is the answer to my zipper phobia!

I hope you give it a try if you have any of 'my' issues with zippers.  You just might want to adopt me after you give it a go!  

How do you feel about zippers?  Do you have a 'go to' method?  Or maybe some tips and tricks?


Sunday, January 15, 2017

Juicy Fruit :: Mini Pillows

This is kind of a double whammy, maybe even a triple whammy!  It all depends on how you look at it!

I decided to follow along with The Honey Pot Bee hosted by @Molli Sparkles.  You may have heard about it.  Basically, it's a virtual bee where two blocks will be shared each month.  You can make both, make one or make none!  Low key and low stress.  I won't be making all of the blocks, but I was a bit smitten with these little berries!

12" x 12" Berry Pillows 
One of the blocks this month is a strawberry block.  Cute as a bug, don't you think?!  I'm exploring my 'cute' side once again and couldn't resist!  (whammy #1)

The block is by @Skyberries Handmade, and the tutorial for it is available here: Strawberry Block.  

I was for sure going with pink and went with solids because...well, I like solids!  I ransacked my scraps and came up with 17 different shades of pinks.  As I was picking the colors I thought it would be fun to add one little print...mixing it up, taking a chance, giving it a twist...just having fun!

The pink berry was so cute I had to make another one in blue.  The plan for these two was going to be Mini Pillows for a couple who just bought their first house.  A house warming gift. Not only that, they have a son and are expecting a daughter in a few months.  Hence...pink and blue! (whammy #2)

With the blocks finishing at 7 1/2" x 10 1/2", I had to add borders around each side so they would fit my 12" pillow forms.  

The quilting took very little time.  Diagonal lines in the berry using coordinating thread, a little bit in the stem and leaves and 1/4" and 1/2" lines to frame each berry.  Honestly, I wish I had played with FMQ here, but my other machine wasn't set up and I really wanted to keep going with these.  

After the quilting I squared them up and searched high and low for the perfect backing fabric.  It was a good way to use something from my stash and add just a little more pizazz!

It seems every time I make pillows I use the hidden zipper method from SOTAK Handmade, which I love to death!  Even more so now that I glue baste the zipper before sewing it. Which brings me to Whammy #3!  I decided to show you how I glue baste zippers in conjunction to the tutorial.  I'll get that post together in a couple days.  

Berries, fruit, pink...bee's!  It seemed appropriate to me! 

If I had a blue insect, it would be here!  Instead a little frolicking puppy will have to do!

It wasn't until I got towards the end of finishing the pillows, I discovered I didn't have to extra forms like I had thought!  After a few kicks in the behind and freely flying swears...my only option at the time was to make my own forms.  I didn't want to stop progress and hey, that bag of polyfil from years ago...perfect!

They turned out adorable in my opinion!  The size isn't going to make a statement on a couch, but the size is perfect for two little ones to toss around!

Here is the tutorial::  ZIPPER GLUE BASTING TUTORIAL


Monday, January 9, 2017

Congrats To The Winners!

Thank you and congratulations to the winners of my newest PDF pattern 'RAINBOW HEART TRIO'!  

I loved reading all the comments about what your hearts might look like!  You have given me so many ideas for my next batch of three!  

The PDF for this pattern can be found on Craftsy here:  RAINBOW HEART TRIO PDF !

I would like to see what your special hearts look like!  Email, Instagram or smoke signals...I'd love for you to share them with me!

And the winners are...

Congratulations and Thank you!  

Saturday, January 7, 2017

'So That's Where You've Been'::Hidden WIP

Even though I wasn't able to get much done in the way of quilting after Christmas, I was able to poke through a closet, a drawer or two and touch my fabric.  During the mindless distractions I came across a project I started way back in October 2015!  For me that is unheard of.  

WIP's are more often ones that my daughter started, not mine!  I'm usually a one quilt woman! Finding this 'ancient' EPP Star sparked my desire to get to work, finish this beauty and get my first finish of the year under my belt!

20" x 19"
I had recently found that English Paper Piecing was a new love, a new obsession.  I remember searching google for a project and as soon as I came across this star, I knew then and there it was the one!

I printed the templates, picked the fabric and started my new evening entertainment. I hadn't a clue what I was going to make with the stars, but did it really matter?  Not then it didn't!

I began with one, two, three and it quickly morphed in to seven.  Seven I could work with. Seven makes a circle.  A circle for what never entered my mind. 

Each star went together easily enough, each hexagon fit like a puzzle...perfect!  This is the point where I hit a wall!  What does one do now?  Shoot!  

With little in the way of options and a determination to make it work, what else could I do but draft my own template?  What's the worst thing that could happen...it wouldn't work!  

After a few tests I came up with a template that I was happy with.  I was pretty sure it would fit and not look too hateful.

I got this far before it was pushed to the side like a piece of broccoli on a dinner plate.
Hidden away, forgotten and neglected.  If it wasn't for my need to organize and poke around it might have spent another year in limbo.

Picking up where I left off presented one potential problem.  Do I have any more of the background fabric?  Thankfully I did.  

With one more pillow needing a new cover for my couch, I knew this would make the perfect ending to that awful nightmare!

I had to draft pieces to make the round...square.  This was the 'not fun' part.  It proved very difficult with my limited experience.  What's the saying?  'Close enough is good enough'?!  In this case, yes it was!

Geometric dot-to-dot quilting was calling my name!  I kept it simple and clean.  Just enough to give some visual interest.

I'm a big fan of hidden zippers and use this tutorial all the time: S.O.T.A.K. Hidden Zipper. The last pillows I made with hidden zippers, I decided to try glue basting the zippers before stitching the fabric to the zipper.  No matter how careful or how many pins I used, my back panels never seemed to line up.  Glue basting worked amazingly well for me and seemed to solve my problem.    

The star points are Studio E - Peppered Cottons.  Heavyweight shot cottons that have a beautiful and unique look.  I do love a good weft & warp!  The background fabric is a linen or linen blend in oatmeal.  

It's always fun to have a first finish of the New Year!  It's like breaking the ice...once that happens feels like things can finally get started!

Have you had your first 2017 finish?  I like the idea of starting off with something small and manageable!