Mask Making Mania

  • Materials Used:
  • 2 pieces of 7″ x 9″ fabric
  • 1 strip of 1 to 1+1/2″ x 7″ fabric
  • 2 strips of stretched 1″ x 6″ T-shirt fabric
  • Optional: some type of filter and/or wire

Along with everyone else, I am making fabric masks. I am also making masks from special microbial fabric the hospital provided for them. The fabric masks will go to family, friends in need, and special places that need at least some form of protection. I looked at and tried a lot of different patterns, until I came up with something that works for ME. It may not work for you, and if that is the case maybe you can adapt it to work for you.

People are insisting these masks need some kind of wire to go over the bridge of the nose. I always tend to overthink things, and my first thought was… won’t they need to be washed after wearing them in public? What happens if you sew those wires into the mask? Won’t they rust? So, I created a sleeve, much like a sleeve to hang your quilt, over the bridge of the nose. I don’t have enough pieces of wire, pipe cleaners, or twist ties to sew into the mask anyhow, so a sleeve is what you get. Find your own wire.

Also, people are suggesting a place in or on the mask to add a hepa filter of sorts. So, I adapted for that as well. I made 2 different kinds of masks, the ones that do not have pleats but look like jock straps across your face and the ones with pleats. Don’t get me wrong. I am fine with the ones that look like jock straps. The other ones don’t take as long for me to make, and I made fewer mistakes with them… except for those darned pleats. I’ll get to those in a minute.

I start out with 2 pieces of 7″ x 9″ quilt shop quality and/or batik fabric. Most masks are using 6″ x 9″ pieces of fabric, but I can’t seem to get my pleats to work right so I just added an inch. They’re supposed to be under your chin and almost up to your eyeballs anyway.

This is where I accommodate the use of a filter. Using a 1/4″ seam allowance with right sides of the fabric facing each other, I sewed 3 inches on either end of one 9″ side and then sewed along either side of that seam to hold each side of the seam in place. See where the rotary cutter peeks through? That’s a slot for inserting a filter. You should have 3 inches sewn shut with a 3 inch hole for inserting the filter and then another 3 inches sewn shut on the other end.

Next, I sewed along the other 9″ side.

By this time, a lot of people are having trouble finding elastic, and are using elastic headbands, pony tail holders or are making fabric ties. As I experimented, I had problems with getting the elastic to fit around my ears correctly. Plus, it wasn’t very comfortable. I wanted to try the option of using T-shirt fabric, especially since I had some brand new T-shirts that need to go to the thrift shop (that is closed right now). So, I cut the sleeve of a T-shirt into 1 inch strips. If you stretch them, they will curl to a round shape. Cut those into 7 (corrected) 6 inch strips.

At this point, you are going to sew a 6″ T-shirt strip on the inside of either/both open sides. Make sure you have an edge of the strip sticking out in each corner and that the rest is tucked safely inside so that it doesn’t get caught while you are stitching.

So, now the mask is all enclosed and needs to be inverted. This is where that slot for the filter comes in handy. Turn it right side out through the hole and voila!

Next, I sewed that little wire sleeve at the bridge of the nose… along the opposite side of the filter “hole”. I cut about 1+1/4″ x 7″ strips for my sleeves. Some people may like it a little tighter so 1″ wide would work for them. And, some people probably need a little wider, so 1+1/2″ would be best for them. Find what works for you. This happened to work for me. There are a couple of ways to sew them on. First, you want to turn under each skinny end and sew those down and then you can either iron the long ends under about 1/4″ inch and sew down on top of those. OR, I found I like sewing an open side along the top edge and then sewing on top down the other side. I know I’m not explaining that well, and I apologize. In the picture of the black and white fabric, you can see the fabric is barely tucked under the top of the mask (on the back side). I sewed along there and then turned the mask over to sew along the other side. It gives a tad more wiggle room for the wire.

And, now we come to the part where I had the most trouble of all… making the pleats. Some directions I’ve seen give you precise measurements to use. Others tell you to make 3 pleats; that’s it, just make 3 pleats (of whatever size you like). I had masks that were longer on one side than the other and looking pretty sad. I just saw a trick this morning for which I do not have pictures. But, this person suggested folding your mask down the middle along the 9″ side and ironing a crease. Then open it up and fold both edges to that middle crease and iron creases there. That way you have 3 creases to guide you. I’m going to try that with my next mask, but I suspect I will end up having the same problems as before. So, my advice for you… just do the best you can. It’ll all work out okay.

Find your mask style and please stay healthy and happy.

*Note: this post has been corrected to reflect a correction. I wore a mask with 7″ elastic today, and it was not tight enough. But, if I get the elastic too tight, it pulls my ears forward and is uncomfortable. That was the reason I switched to T-shirt fabric. My recommendation is that, before you sew the T-shirt fabric or elastic in place, put the unfinished mask up to your face and gauge how long you think it should be for YOUR face to make it snug, but not uncomfortable. You need to be able to breathe but allow germs to float inside your mask.

Forest Galorest

I loved this pattern from Java House Quilts the first time I saw it.  If you love it as well, you can purchase it yourself here.  I started working on this quilt back in September.  The applique would be needle-turned, meaning by hand.  The edges would be turned under and stitched down by hand vs fusing down a raw edge applique onto the background and machine finishing the edges (a tedious, but much quicker method).  I figured it would take me about 2 years to finish; a nice project for me to work on in the evenings before bedtime.  My daughter was going to start “trying” to get pregnant soon.  Maybe this would make a nice baby quilt.  If she never conceived, I could keep this quilt for myself (trying not to get my hopes up).  Her older sister took several years of trying to conceive naturally and then several attempts of in vitro before getting pregnant.  So, 2 years… I would have plenty of time to casually work on this quilt.

Then, in October, she told me she was pregnant.  Or, was it late September?  She was due June 2nd.  I was shocked, floored.  Surely, it was too soon to know for sure… a false positive…  I admit it.  One of my first thoughts was about this quilt.  How on earth would I get it done in time?  It has plenty of big pieces but also LOTS of tiny pieces.  I figured I’d better get busy.  As I got farther and farther into this quilt, I was kicking myself for not machine appliqueing it.  It is what it is.  And, I am done now.  I’m late for the arrival, but I am done.  He’s about a week old now and a cutie patooty!

The question once I finished it was how to quilt it.  The more quilting you do on a quilt, the more thread you add to that quilt and the heavier and stiffer it gets.  This was for a baby, so I wanted it to be soft… or at least as soft as I could make it and still add details to it.  You will notice there are plenty of gaps in the quilting where it seems like there should be more quilting.  That was intentional to prevent the quilt from becoming too stiff and heavy.  I stitched down enough to give the effect of what I wanted and then let the rest go.  Sometimes you’ve just gotta “let it go.” 😉  My desired effect was playful, yet polished.

Simple swirls were stitched inside the appliqued blocks around the animals and flowers.  My instinct was to put something formal on the outside edges of the pieced blocks, but I ended up putting animal paws there instead.  They are not perfect, by any stretch of the imagination, but it’s okay (Let it go!).  The way you make these animal paws is to stitch a curvy triangle with 2 ovals going up one side and 2 ovals going back down the other side, all as a continuous path with no starts and stops.

 

What should I do with those outside odd blocks along the border?  I could have added nature scenes, but that would involve intense stitching.  It needed to be open and flowing.  So, I opted for something formal and polished in those areas; feathers and curved cross-hatching.  Traditional feathers would be nice, but I chose bumpy ones to mimic butterfly wings.

I did sneak some playfulness into some of those areas.

 

As for the borders, I started at the bottom and stitched a very loose fern to mimic a grassy look.

Moving up the sides, I stitched pine trees on the left by the raccoons and bear.  My pine trees got worse as I stitched more and more of them (Let it go!) up towards the owl.

On the right, I transitioned the ferns into leafy vines to meet the squirrels at the top.

At the top I transitioned the leafy vines to meet the rays of whatever that circle thing is around the owl’s head.  It could be the moon.  Or, it could be the sun.  Whatever your imagination sees is what it is.

A couple of notes… as far as the binding goes, I had a hard time deciding which fabric to choose.  I finally decided that I wanted to see that darker blue repeated somewhere in the quilt.  It’s one of my funny idiosyncrasies; I believe you need to repeat fabrics in a quilt to make it look more polished or professional.  So, I chose that darker blue for the border and had intended to make a piping of the pale blue stripes that you see very little of in the quilt.  The pale blue stripes are around the little square blocks where I stitched curved cross-hatching and also in the corners of the border.  To get that effect, you create a faux piping within the binding.  Here’s a tutorial by Margo Clabo from “The Quilt Show” of how to create that.  For whatever reason, I decided I wanted to go with 1/4″ piping, so I cut my strips at 1 3/4 inch for the pale blue stripes and 1 1/4 inch for the solid blue – after stitching the strips together and then folding that wider pieced strip, I’d have a 1/4″ piping instead of 1/8″ inch piping.  That was a mistake.  It turned out to be a flange.  There’s nothing wrong with a flange, but I was worried about it flapping around.  So, I stitched it down.  I’m okay with that.  It still looks fine (Let it go!), and I still get to see both of those fabrics along the border.

Also, if you are wondering how I place appliques on their blocks, I draw out the original design onto a piece of plastic first.  This particular piece is one of those pieces of plastic that hold papers together with a strip of hard colored plastic, while the clear plastic acts like a folder for the papers.  I use a vis-a-vis marker which stays on there until I run water across it.  I don’t know whether or not a dry erase marker would work.  If you have tried that and it does, please speak up in the comments.

My goal is to teach you something new with my posts, if I can.  So, I hope you learned something today!

 

Square Peg in a Round Hole

Reposted from my other site.

Susan inherited this quilt top from her dad and step-mom. You can obviously see that the design flows into kind of a “sweep”.  But, to me, it looked like it could have been a Native American design.  The design is merely different colored squares sewn together into an interesting design.

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Susan already had the PERFECT thread for this quilt.  The colors matched perfectly. When I got it home and threaded the machine and put the first stitch into the quilt, I realized it was thicker than any thread I’ve used.  And, I was worried.  It took some coaxing to get the thread to go through the quilt layers, but once I got it going it worked like a charm…and didn’t break, not once!

I’m glad Susan decided on a Native American quilting design.  And, you know what?  That thick thread REALLY showed off the design in the light-colored border.  And, the batik border fabric is a wonderful companion to the quilting design and Susan’s thread.   Edge-to-Edge quilting used the wavy lines and the stepping stones under the sun in the border design.

I don’t remember ever getting the chance to quilt a Native American design into a quilt, so this was a lot of fun to do.  If you’re wondering where to find the border design, I took one of Meadowlyon Designs’ pantographs (named Modern Southwest) that you can find here.  Their pantograph is 10 1/2″ tall, but the border of Susan’s quilt was 7 inches, I think.  So, what I did was make a smaller copy of one repetition in the pantograph.  I then traced it onto Golden Threads Quilting Paper (you can buy it from their website and other stores) and pinned it to the quilt top.  I wanted a cornerstone, so I took the bird , enlarged it in different sizes to find the size that worked best and then traced it onto the quilting paper as well and then stitched through the quilting paper. In the past, I’ve used vellum, tracing paper, Press ‘n Seal, etc for marking quilts.  But, I had this on hand and it was just sitting on the shelf, so I thought I’d try it.  I actually really like it.  The paper is a soft yellow, which blends with lots of colors, believe it or not.  When you pull the paper off, it doesn’t leave as much paper behind, and the paper isn’t a bright white.  Judge for yourself if the end product (quilting shown in the pictures above) turned out okay.

I said earlier that Susan inherited this quilt top from her dad and step-mom.  Well, here’s something you don’t realize you need or would like to have until you get it.  They left their quilt tops in “kits” with batting, thread, and backing included on many of the quilts; ready to be quilted.  And, check out this batting!  I was floored.  How cool is that! The batting is marked so I know which way to load it (you need more from roller to roller than you do side to side, because the rollers will use more batting – you can read more about that in my blog post “Oops! Please Add More Batting!“).

I have a tip for loading quilt backing.  I like to load backing fabric so the selvages attach to the rollers. The reason I like to do that is because the width (weft) of the fabric has a little more stretch than the length (warp) of the fabric.  When I load the backing fabric to the canvas of the rollers, the fabric will stretch some.  It stretches even more if I load the quilt with the width going side to side rather than roller to roller – that produces a “waistline”, as I call it, on the backing fabric.  See how the top of the fabric in this picture is stretched more?  That’s because it is attached to the roller canvas.  The rest is not attached to anything yet.  I lay batting on top of the backing fabric and then stitch a straight line across the top of the batting so that I can get the edge of the quilt top straight.  I then baste the top down.  After that, I will check to make sure the sides of the quilt top are straight and will stitch it down.  AFTER it’s stitched down, I attach stretchy clamps to the sides of the backing fabric to hold it taut – that’s what helps keep wrinkles out of the backing fabric, where you can’t see it as you roll the quilt.  So, what will happen is the backing fabric will have more of an “hourglass figure” if I load the backing with the width (weft) of the fabric going side to side than it will if I load the backing with the length (warp) of the fabric going side to side.  And, the selvages have the extra thickness in its weave, so that adds to the strength where it’s attached to the roller canvas.  The difference it makes for the quilt maker is that if there’s a seam down the back, it might not end up straight.

 

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One of the best parts of my job is the variety of quilt tops and quilting designs that I get to work with each day.  I learn something new with each one.  I had a lot of fun with this one.

To the Moon and Back

Reposted from my other site

This is another quilt I should have put up on my design wall before quilting it, because the colors and the pattern are striking.

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Kathy called this her Universe quilt.  It has the 4 quadrants in colors.  Do you see the circles of color in the blues down in the lower left?  Those look like planets, too, and all the mottled batiks in the borders look, to me, like an Aurora Borealis.  So, how would you quilt this?

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The colors are so magnificent, that it’s hard to see the quilting, but I decided to stitch a stun into the upper right hand (yellow) corner with the 9 planets circling around it.  The orbiting circles are anything but perfect.  I hand drew them on with chalk and then stitched following the chalk lines.

In the purple down in the lower right is where I put Earth and its circling moon.  Can you see it?  The moon’s orbit is elliptical, so maybe if you find that semi-sideways oval, you’ll see the big circle inside, which is Earth.  I also drew the Big and Little Dipper with the North Star to the lower left of Earth.  Of course, my ADD brain struggled with which way to put those stars (they’re not in correct proportion anyway)…as I am looking at them on the quilt?  Or as I would look at them if I were on Earth?  I also put shooting stars and meteors in the quilt, but you can’t see them here.  The backing on the quilt did a good job of hiding them, too, which I’m always glad for, because my pea brain talks smack to me about my quilting abilities.

This particular quilt was a good example of some of the strategies I used for getting a quilt squared up as it rolls on the frame for the quilting machine.  And, since you can’t see the quilting too much, I thought I’d add some tips here.

First off, this quilt has lots of straight lines.  I use those lines to guide me to getting the quilt straight.  I’ll explain the tape measure in a bit, but for now, take a look at the lower edge of the picture.  That’s where the lower roller bar lies.  I use the lines in the quilt to help me gauge whether or not the quilt is straight going across.

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I’m sure I’ve showed you before the laser level I use to make sure the lines are straight as well.

I used to use these white clips on the rear roller bar to help me with placement of blocks and borders as I quilted, but, unless you find a way to make them stay put, they roll and move.  By the way, if you look closely at the edges of the quilt top, you will see a line of basting on the batting.  There are 3 roller bars on my machine’s frame.  The backing fabric is attached to 2 rollers; one at the bottom and one above this black roller you see in the picture below.  That roller is used to keep the fabric in place at it rolls. So, first, I attach the backing fabric to the canvases that are attached to those 2 rollers.  Then, I lay the batting on top of the backing fabric.  I use my channel locks to stitch a straight line across the top of the batting – it helps to have a dark thread for this so you can see it better.  That is my guide for where to butt the quilt top fabric up against.  I then pin the quilt top fabric in place and then stitch it down about 1/4 inch along the edge.  I’d like to make it 1/8 inch, but I’m just not that good.

As for the tape measure, I use that as a guide for where to stitch the sides in place.  When I get the top stitched down, I use my laser level to tell me where to butt the sides up to and then stitch the sides down to about 12 inches from the top.  Then I see where the sides hit the tape measure and write those numbers down.  I use those numbers for placement of the rest of the quilt along the sides.

A machine quilter’s job involves a lot more than just quilting.  The above tips are just a sampling of the many things we do when we work on your quilt.

A Woodland Christmas… by Joan

I figured I’d better get this on here while I’ve got the chance.  I’ve been busy lately working on things for my booth at the Kansas City Regional Quilt Festival, which starts next Friday, by the way.  And, I will continue being busy working on more stuff for the next week.  This was the last customer quilt I was able to work on before the quilt show.  Joan always lets me play and put whatever I want on her quilts.  It’s a very dangerous tactic, you know.

So, let’s show you a full shot of the quilt first before I get into the details of the quilting.

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Now, how on earth would YOU quilt this?  My first concern was the border, because that’s where I start.  The cornerstones were easy – Joan had an applique star in the upper right hand corner, so I just copied that into the other corners.

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As for the borders, I couldn’t come up with something creative enough (for me) that would go with this quilt, so I ended up doing something simple with holly leaves.  It would need to be able to work play well with the applique in the borders.  Just now, looking at these pictures, I wish I had added piano keys on the outside of the swags.

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Along the lower border were 2 bears, but they needed a mama bear so I added her in the back of them.

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Joan asked how I got the bear to look just like the others.  Well, I cheated, and here is a tutorial showing you how I did it.  But… it shows what I did with the trees at the top of the quilt instead of the bear; I did the same technique.  I found myself going back and forth on this quilt, adding a bit here and a bit there.  It seemed to me that I was doing a lot of the same things, so in that big open space in the tree farm, I decided to add more trees.  I have a roll of vellum or onion skin (I can’t remember which I’d bought) for tracing designs. So, to add more trees, I simply traced the applique trees already there and added more trees around them.  This would be my quilting design.  If you look closely at the corners of the paper, you will see where I have straight pins holding the paper in place.  I just stick them straight down without trying to weave them into the fabric.  When I do that, it just turns out worse.

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After I had the trees drawn out, I then hold my left hand on the paper and move the machine around with my right hand (if you are left handed, hold the paper with your right hand and move the machine with your left hand).  If you don’t already know this, a longarm quilting machine floats or hovers above the fabric and has no feed dogs (those gritty teeth things on the bottom/bobbin plate of a domestic sewing machine) to keep it steady and in place.  It doesn’t have to be perfect.  Unless someone shows you what I just did, you will never know if “I meant to do that” or not.

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And, here is the result after I tore the paper off.

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I tried to give each of the houses a different roof top, but some of them are repeated. If you go back and take a second look at the border pictures, you can see more houses in those shots.

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Most of the houses in this quilt reminded me of the Victorian houses in the Colorado mountains.  This trio, however, could have been cabins, if I had thought about it long enough.  But, they turned out okay as Victorian houses as well.

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The final picture is of the star on top of the “town tree” shining down for its audience to “ooh” and “ahh”.

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All in all, this was a fun quilt to “quilt.”  I hope you enjoyed the show and learned something, too!  Merry Christmas in June!

Flaming Guitars

My latest customer quilt is for Mary’s grandson.  Mary has done a wonderful job of combining colors to match her black fabric with musical notes.  I think she is using up her scraps; smart lady!  Anyhow, she paired the musical notes fabric with another black fabric that has guitars on it.  Here’s a shot of the whole quilt and a couple of close-ups.  Mary was very open to whatever I wanted to quilt on this, but this time we were looking at quilting something other than musical notes.  This is for her 10-year-old grandson.  What kind of stitching would you quilt on this?  The backing is a fire red, so I thought flames would work alright on this quilt.

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I snuck in a surprise down towards the bottom in the middle.  I put it in a place where it wouldn’t be obvious – you’d have to search to find it.  I wasn’t sure if her grandson would be frightened by it or think it was cool.  I’ll turn it over to the back so you can see what it is before I show you the front.  The orangey-red (flame red) is the actual color of the backing, but you can see the picture better in the second picture.

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I needed a template for adding this to the stitching, so I drew the flaming skull out onto vellum paper and then pinned it down before stitching it.  I avoid marking on my customers quilts unless I can find no alternative.  It’s just too risky.

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As you can see (or maybe you can’t – that’s the idea), after pulling the paper off, you have to really look to find the skull.

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If you are interested in seeing this process in action, I have a video of me doing this on my YouTube Channel.  You can find that video here.  I hope this helps you learn some strategies for marking (without marking ON) your quilt top for quilting.

Tutorial for a Reversible Fabric Bucket

My niece, Julia, is having a baby, and the baby shower is tomorrow. I’ve already bought some things for her, but I didn’t have anything to put them in. Oh, sure, I could have just bought a gift bag, but I won this cute Henry Glass fabric from one of their giveaways. You should check out their blog (http://henryglassfabrics.blogspot.com/), because they are doing more giveaways between now and December 20th as part of their “Countdown to the Holidays” gifting to their fans. Anyhow, I thought Julia could re-use a fabric bucket more than she could a paper bag for baby gifts. So, this is what I made to hold the gifts. I figure she can re-use it for holding things in the baby’s room or in the bathroom, or the baby can use this for holding toys or possibly as an Easter basket at some point in the future.

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Materials Used for this size Bucket:

  • 1/3 yard each of 2 coordinating fabrics
  • 1/3 yard Pellon 71 F Single-Sided Fusible Ultra Firm Stabilizer or any interfacing of your choosing (optional)
  • 1/3 yard batting (optional)
  • 1/3 yard fusible fleece (optional)

Cutting Directions/Sizes

  • Cut a 10 inch circle from EACH of the 2 coordinating fabrics
  • Cut a 9 inch by 30 1/3 inch rectangle from EACH of the 2 coordinating fabrics
  • Cut a 6 inch by 20 inch rectangle from ONE of the coordinating fabrics

Optional Use of Stabilizer and/or Batting

  • Cut one 10 inch circle of either stabilizer or batting or both, depending on personal preference
  • Cut one 9 inch by 30 1/3 inch rectangle of either stabilizer or batting or both, depending on personal preference, OR use fusible fleece

The first thing I did was determine how big I wanted it to be (big enough to hold the all the goodies for the baby shower).  I decided to make the bottom 9 1/2 inches wide – that would be my finished size.  Using a template, I drew with a 9 1/2 inch circle onto the wrong side of 2 coordinating fabrics and then another circle 1/4 inch outside of that first circle, which would make the outside circle 10 inches (9 1/2 inch + 1/4 inch on each outside edge of the circle.  The added 1/4 inch would be my seam width.  I then cut along the outside circle.

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Now to figure out how much fabric to cut for the sides.  Go back to Geometry to figure out how the circumference of the circle.  I know my finished circle would be 9 1/2 inches or 9.5 inches.  The formula for figuring out the circumference of a circle is C = πD (Circumference = Pi x Diameter).  Pi = 3.14 and my finished diameter will be 9.5 inches so I multiplied 3.14 x 9.5 for a circumference of 29.83 inches.  That’s how long it would be when it’s finished.  I needed to add another 1/4 inch to each side for my seam allowances, so I added 1/4 inch to each of the 2 ends; .5 (or 1/2) inch + 29.83 = 30.33 inches.  Basically it’s 30 1/3 inch long.  I originally cut the sides at 10 inches, because I wasn’t sure yet how tall I wanted it to be.

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At this point, you need to decide how sturdy and/or soft you want to make your bucket.  I thought I wanted to use both the stabilizer and the batting, but I changed my mind as I was working on it.  It got to be too bulky and I needed to get it done and not spend time trying to make it work.  If you are using a fusible product, now is the time to press it onto the fabric.  I chose to iron my stabilizer to the lighter color fabric, because my batting is off-white.

In the following pictures you can see where I goofed and started out sewing the side to the circle (right side of fabric on the side and wrong side of fabric for the circle – see the stabilizer?) and then picked out the stitches and sewed right sides together, with the stabilizer “stabilizing” the circle as I stitched.  I forgot to add that I sewed the short ends of the rectangle together to form a loop that would be sewed to the circle.  You could also save that step for AFTER you stitch the long sides onto the circle bottom; just make sure you leave an inch or more not stitched at each end so that you can then stitch the ends together and finish off stitching to the circle after the 2 ends are sewn together.  Most people pin the pieces together- I was in a hurry and should have slowed down and pinned, but I was feeling cocky.  Anyhow, sew the sides to the circles for each of the coordinating fabrics.  I chose to have a chevron bottom with the polka dot sides for these pictures.  I reversed it for a polka dotted bottom and chevron sides for the reversible part.

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I used batting and stabilizer for the bottom, but when I got to this part of adding the sides, I found both of them to be too much to work with, so I chose to leave out the batting.  After I had both bucket parts sewn together, I put them together and this time I pinned.

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Figuring out how tall I wanted the bucket to be, I folded the tops to the inside and pinned them in place.

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Before sewing these together, though, I need to add the handle.  I didn’t use any batting or stabilizer for this, although stabilizer would probably make it more sturdy.  The reason I didn’t use anything is because I was going to fold this so that there would be 4 layers of fabric.  In my mind, that is enough fabric to try to sew through.  What I did was fold down the length of the 20 inch fabric and then bring the edges to the middle and fold again.  I did not iron these; I just finger-pressed them.

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I then sewed the handle down the folded edge and then again a little closer to the edge.  I repeated this for the other side, so it would look a little nicer.

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I then figured out where I wanted to put the handle and pinned it in place.

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After it was pinned in place, I turned the bucket on its side and sewed the edges together, catching the handle in with the sides.  To mimic the look on the handle and to make the bucket sturdier, I sewed another line closer to the edge.

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And this is the finished product.

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I wasn’t as happy with the rigid look of the chevron fabric, with its pressed-look where the stabilizer had gotten folded during the scrunching, etc.  Plus, I wanted to show off the look of the coordinating fabrics, so I “reversed” it so that on the outside you see the polka dot sides and the chevron handles.  This is why I offered an option of batting and/or fusible stabilizer.  Obviously the stabilizer makes it more rigid and sturdy.  I think fusible fleece would work well, too.

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I then filled it with gifts for Julia and her baby, so I am now ready to give this to her tomorrow.

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What do you think?  Cute?  If you make one of these buckets, I would LOVE to see pictures of your finished product!  I’ll post them, too, if it’s okay with you!  In the meantime, head over to Henry Glass Fabrics’ blog here so you, too, will have a chance to win some cute fabric.